Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most popular natural products out there and it's no wonder. It is so versatile, with a plethora of amazing benefits aiding us in everything from skincare to natural cleaning.
Endorsed by everyone from beauty bloggers to celebratory cleaners around the world, it's a product none of us should be living without!
Today we're sharing the best apple cider vinegar benefits to try for an even better you!
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in August 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in December 2018.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from - you guessed it - cider or apple must. It contains what is known as 'Mother of Vinegar' - a cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that is created during fermentation.
When buying a decent bottle of ACV, look out for raw, organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered vinegar that contains 'The Mother'. A good quality bottle will be misty and smell very strongly, in fact, the smellier the better!
Benefits of apple cider vinegar
1. Weight loss
Have you tried every fad diet under the sun and not seeing the results? It might be worth giving apple cider vinegar a go.
It's rumoured to reduce stomach fat by increasing satiety - the feeling of being full. Miraculously, the acetic acid also prevents as many calories being absorbed too.
Use as a salad dressing or dilute in water and drink. To make the drink, add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water.
2. Get rid of varicose veins
Did you know that apple cider vinegar can reduce the appearance of varicose veins? If you're suffering, try this...
Mix with witch hazel and apply to the affected area.
3. Reduced cholesterol
Heart disease is one of the biggest premature killers. Thankfully, apple cider vinegar can help by lowering cholesterol.
To take ACV orally, add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water. Always check with your GP.
4. Improve symptoms of Type 2 diabetes
High blood sugar levels aren't good for anyone, but especially not for those with Type 2 diabetes. Reduce your blood sugar levels by consuming diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water. Always check with your GP.
5. Treat warts
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar makes it perfect for breaking down the skin cells that make up warts (including verrucas!)
Mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part water. Soak some cotton wool in the solution and place on the wart. Use a plaster or some bandage and tape to secure the cotton ball in place. Leave on overnight and repeat until the wart falls off.
6. Relieves acid reflux & heartburn
Acid reflux and heartburn are really unpleasant. Apple cider vinegar can work to neutralizing stomach acids.
To take ACV orally, add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water. Always check with your GP.
7. Restless leg syndrome & leg cramps
By increasing your intake of potassium, you can reduce symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water and sip to reduce symptoms.
8. Stops hiccups
Got annoying hiccups that just won't go away? Fix it in a flash with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. We can't tell you why this works, but it does!
Pour 1 teaspoon of ACV and drink. Avoid using this method too often as the acid in undiluted ACV can damage your teeth.
9. Boost your immune system
Apple cider vinegar has antiviral properties that boost immunity. The healthy bacteria inside the unfiltered variety will help you recover quickly and even settle some allergies!
METHOD: To take ACV orally, add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water. Always check with your GP.
10. Improve digestion
Consuming apple cider vinegar increases the production of stomach acid that will break down food and improve digestion.
11. Combat Athlete's Foot
Despite the name, it's not just sporty people that can get athlete's foot. It occurs due to the warm, moist environment in our shoes, and can be pretty unpleasant.
To treat it with apple cider vinegar, soak your feet in a solution of half vinegar and half water. Repeat for a few days in a row in the evening before you go to bed and you should start to notice your feet looking and feeling better - it temporarily changes the pH levels in your skin that fungus will find harder to thrive in.
12. Insect bite relief
There's no need to buy insect bite cream ever again - apple cider vinegar is all you need.
The acidity in vinegar (you can use both apple cider or white vinegar) helps to neutralise and soothe the itch, while its anti-inflammatories reduce swelling. Additionally, apple cider vinegar's pH-balancing properties speed the healing process! Plenty of reasons to use it as a natural pain reliever when you've been bitten by a bug.
Simply soak a cotton wool ball in vinegar and apply it to the area for instant relief.
13. Gout treatment
Gout is a common type of arthritis that affects the big toe and can be extremely painful. It's caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream, which apple cider can be used to counteract.
Drinking 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar dissolved in 250ml warm water should help to alleviate symptoms.
14. Treat ear infections
If you've got a pesky ear infection, apple cider vinegar is just what you need.
Don't attempt this method for deeper ear infections - seek advice from a GP.
Combine equal parts ACV with clean water. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and hold at the opening of the ear. Lean on your side so that a small amount of the solution trickles onto the infected area. Alternatively, use a dropper to apply 5-10 drops.
15. Improve IBS symptoms
For those of you who suffer from IBS, you'll know how debilitating it can be.
Taking apple cider orally has been found to improve bloating and is definitely worth trying if you and your digestive system are running out of options!
16. Detox drink
Detoxes can be extremely expensive. If you're interested in the concept but don't want to spend a fortune, the apple cider vinegar detox could be worth looking into.
Supposedly, it works to aid in weight loss, reduce appetite, balance your pH, lower cholesterol, remove toxins and more.
17. Treat a cold
Bacteria and germs thrive in acidic environments. You can make your body's pH more alkaline by adding 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to your water once a day.
It should banish germs and help your cold and sore throat too.
18. Treat nail fungus
Apple cider vinegar is great at killing harmful bacteria, so it works wonders for nail fungus!
Treat nail fungus with an apple cider vinegar foot soak. Fill a washing up bowl with equal parts water and pure, natural ACV. Soak for about 20 minutes. Repeat daily until symptoms have cleared.
19. Treat oral thrush
As well as curing colds, apple cider vinegar can also be used as a mouthwash to treat oral thrush (candida). Simple gargle and swish a solution of 1 cup water and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar around your mouth.
20. Treat kidney stones
Here's another benefit of apple cider vinegar's acidic properties.
The acetic acid it contains can help to dissolve kidney stones and also alleviate the pain caused by them. Drinking a small amount along with water should get the process started.
21. Make nail polish last longer
Many natural beauty lovers swear by applying apple cider vinegar to nails and allowing it to dry before applying nail polish.
Word on the street is it makes nail polish stay chip-free for longer. This is definitely worth a try!
22. Natural cleaning products
Skip the harsh chemicals and opt for planet-friendly alternatives instead!
Apple cider vinegar can be used to create many environmentally-friendly, grease and germ-busting homemade products that will get your home clean and save you money too!
23. Get rid of flies
Don't let uninvited intruders ruin your Summer BBQs - get rid of bugs for good!
Fill a shallow dish with washing up liquid and a little apple cider vinegar and leave outside - the flies will be attracted to the nectary smell and get stuck in the sticky solution.
24. Kill bed bugs, fleas & headlice
Treatments for bed bugs, fleas, and head lice can be high in hazardous chemicals. Why not give a more natural method a go?
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is powerful enough to help kill bed bugs, fleas, and head lice.
To treat, mix equal parts ACV and warm water in a spray bottle. To use the solution:
- Bedbugs - douse areas you think they may be lurking in.
- Headlice - apply all over hair, cover with a shower cap and leave for about two hours.
- Fleas - apply to fur once a day to deter them. Don't worry, fleas can't live in human hair!
25. Natural weed killer
Here's another use for apple cider vinegar that could save you money. Ditch your expensive weed killers and spray apple cider vinegar onto them instead.
26. Get rid of dog fleas
If you own a pet, you'll know fleas can be a real nightmare. Vet fees can be expensive, and perhaps unnecessary if you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar to hand.
Whilst apple cider vinegar won't kill fleas, it does make the environment unbearable for them! For this reason, it's handy for encouraging them to leave, and also great as a preventative method.
Mix equal amounts apple cider vinegar and water and spray over your pet.
27. Soothe poison ivy rash
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium which may help reduce swelling left by poison ivy rashes.
Apply ACV directly to the skin or use cotton wool and make a compress.
28. Wash fruit & veg
Are you a bit of a germaphobe?
Fresh produce can carry a surprising amount of dirt and even faces from the fields it originates from. Apple cider vinegar is perfect for giving produce a deep clean.
Fill a washing up bowl with clean water and then add a cup of apple cider vinegar. Wash your fruit and veggies in this solution before you start chopping to ensure they are nice and clean!
Side effects of apple cider vinegar
Although it's rare to experience side-effects of apple cider vinegar, especially when used as stated in the list above, it may be problematic for some.
1. Can cause Stomach pain
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar doesn't agree with some people and may lead to stomach ache, diarrhoea and even heartburn.
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking it immediately.
2. Can break down tooth enamel
Whilst the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has many benefits, it can also cause dental problems. The protective coating of teeth, enamel, can be broken down if it comes into contact with acid too often.
3. Can mess with medication
Sometimes less is more! If you're already on medication, be sure to check with your doctor first before using apple cider vinegar internally - it may mess with your existing course of medication.
Wow, who knew apple cider vinegar was so versatile? Which is your favourite benefit? Let us know in the comments below!
10ml diluted or not, 20mins before a meal helps to promote weight loss.
I would not recommend cider or anything else acidic to try to whiten teeth. Acidic products cause tooth erosion and therefore damage.
Hi Dawn, thanks for the warning. I agree, for prolonged use it can be quite harmful but every now and then should be fine.
Thank u for the marvellous article on tips on Cider Vinegar they are most helpful.
You're welcome! Glad you liked them.
Where can I get apple cider vinegar from as I suffer from athletes foot and I am a smoker and a big coffee drinker does it really work as a teeth whitner
Hi Carrieann you can buy apple cider vinegar from most health stores! Or failing that you can find it online at Amazon for a reasonable price. It can help remove surface stains from your teeth, but maybe not staining that has been there for a while. Give it a go!
Now all of this sounds very fine, to help that hair and skin of mine, but isn't it quite often said, true beauty starts inside, instead? The trouble is, I'm not too keen on vinegar, so I have been thinking about this little matter, my illusions please don't shatter, would the effects still ensue if I drank a cider or two???? PS, please say if you're sick of my poems!!
Hi Debbie! We all love your poems - please keep sending them our way! I'm a new blogger here at Expert Home Tips, and would love to have you write a poem for one of my articles. I'm starting to feel left out, haha!??
Apple is a very beneficial thing.It keeps different vitamins, which are very important for good health. We get maximum benefits and useful tips from it after reading this. Thanks for share these tips.
Hi Urwa. Thanks for your kind comments. Apple cider vinegar is certainly a 'miracle' product in our eyes! I'm glad you enjoyed the article! :)
You should be able to get cider vinegar in most supermarkets. I've bought it before in Morrisons. If I recall correctly my mum used to drink cider vinegar and honey with hot water to help with arthritis. Not sure if it worked but she quite liked the taste! Could possibly add a different taste to fish and chips too - just a thought
Hi Chris, Thanks a lot for commenting. You're right - you can pick up apple cider vinegar fairly cheaply and from most supermarkets. If not, it will definitely be available at your local Health Store. Not sure about adding it to fish and chips - we use it in our salad dressings, though, so don't see why not! Thanks, Steph
The braggs has "the Mother" in it though and I think you get more benefits from it.
Hey Jacky! "The Mother" is supposedly better for you, but there's no solid evidence for it yet.
I'm surprised you didn't mention how apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss. Mix equal parts of warm water and said vinegar, a teaspoon of honey in a glass and drink every morning. I can't claim to kow how and why it works, but it does. Apple cider vinegar is also useful as a fruit fly trap: take a small jar, half fill with the vinegar, cover with cling film. Pierce the top three or four times with a toothpick or similar, and leave near your furitbowl. Hey Presto - the flies go in, can't get out. Job done!
Hi there Judith! We're actually working on another article at the moment that's all about health benefits of ACV (this one is beauty benefits). Hopefully, you'll find some more useful tips when it goes live! Thanks for sharing your idea about using it as a fruit fly trap. I'd not heard of that before.
I swear, if you have a dog with skin problem or fur issues, ACV rinse after baths is the solution. My Golden had major skin issues, hair falling and after using ACV on her for nearly a year now, her fur has grown back to nearly its original glory and her skin has improved by leaps and bounds. ACV is ACE!
That's amazing, Rebecca!
Amazing article I'm going to get some ACV right now. Thank you for taking the time to share this
You're welcome, Mick!
ACV also stops nose bleeds almost instantly. It's brilliant.
Really? Thanks for sharing! How does it work?
It can also be used, with plant-based milk, to replace eggs for baking cakes
I'll have to give this a try!
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